Jony Ive, the man in charge of designing Apple's famous products like the iPhone, iPod and iMac in 1998, announced on Friday that he will leave the US company.
Ive said he resigns from the company he helped to become one of the most valuable brands on the planet, to start his own business called LoveFrom. It will have Apple as its first customer.
"It feels like the natural moment to make a change," the British designer said.
On the other hand, Apple's president, Tim Cook, pointed out that Ive's role in "rebirth of Apple cannot be ignored".
But the departure of Ive joins several facts that raise questions about the technical giant.
In April, sales manager Angela Ahrendts left the company, which has worried investors, especially after the case of iPhone sales, Apple's flagship product.
Ive said in a statement that: "After 30 years and countless projects, I am very proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design, process and culture law on Apple that is not equal."
Lite is still known about LoveFrom, but – as Ive said in an interview with the Financial Times magazine – will be based in California and focused on portable technology.
In the interview, I noted that Marc Newson, his Apple employee, will also be part of LoveFrom. In his new team there will also be a "creative collection" that comes from different disciplines beyond the design.
Jony Ive became head of Apple's design studio in 1996, when the company had serious financial problems. But thanks to its designs like the iMac 1998 and the iPod in 2001, the company started its path towards reconstruction.
Other recognized products included in the portfolio were:
- 2004 – iPod Mini
- 2007 – iPhone
- 2008 – MacBook Air
- 2010 – iPad
- 2015 – Apple Watch
- 2016 – AirPods
Apple founder Steve Jobs once said, "If I have a spiritual partner in Apple, it's Jony."
One of the designer's last projects was to complete the central building, Apple Park, an architectural complex designed with the British studio Foster.
"The Jony Departure is the most important of the main group that was part of the rebirth of Apple," he told BBC Ben Bajaron, an analyst at Creative Strategies.
Since 2012, he was responsible for monitoring hardware and software development of Apple products, which were previously made separately.
The only message from the Cupertino company has been that it will separate both departments again. Evans Hankey takes over the vice president of industrial design and Alan Dye becomes the head of the design department in the interface.
"With Steve Jobs, they were known as Apple's Lennon-McCartney"
Rory Cellan-Jones. Technology correspondent
Steve Jobs and Jony Ive – Apple Lennon and McCartney – were successful duet and it is impossible to understand what the company has become without reviewing what the most creative society in the recent business history did. .
Ive been a minor figure when Jobs returned from exile to revive Apple. He chose the British designer because he saw him as a kinsman who shared his obsession with the idea that the appearance of a product was as important as the technology he wore in his interior.
Its first success was the iMac, which broke with the model of monochromatic long boxes that dominated the market for personal computers and showed that these could be beautiful objects of design.
That success was followed by the iPod, iPhone and iPad, which became standards that the industry imitated.
After Steve Jobs's death, it was speculated that Jony Ive could become Apple's new boss.
But he was the design manager while Tim Cook took over the profitable machine that the apple company became.
In recent years, it has been more difficult to see the magical touch of Ive. While Airpods (the wireless headphones) can be a new classic, the expensive MacPro monitor (which costs $ 999) can symbolize how little your fans seem to care about your pocket.
But in spite of that, the man who started designing bathrooms and toothbrushes and stopped delivering the most profitable product in the story, iPhone, began a guaranteed position in the business books.